In volume two, Em and Navin are in their great-grandfather’s house…which is also their mode of transportation. (I want a house that can walk!) Navin is learning to drive the house and everyone is worried about Em and Navin’s mom (whom they were able to save from the freaky octomonster – the “arachnopod”) because in the rescue, she was stung by the arachnopod. They need to take her to the City of Kanalis to see a doctor so they can know how to heal her. Once they do, they’re sent off to the edge of Demon’s Head Mountain (that sounds like a warm and fuzzy place to go) to get fruit from the Gadoba tree.
While at the Doctor’s, the house gets raided because apparently the elves in this story aren’t as nice as in Tolkien’s world. They’re after the new Stonekeeper (what the keeper of the amulet is called) and in the raid, Em decides it’s best if she and Navin split up. Emily tells Navin to stay with their mother while Emily and new fox friend Leon head to get the Gadoba fruit. The trees reminded me of the Ents from Lord of the Rings, which was awesome.
This book is basically the second installation of a this new world, Em and Navin coming into their own, fighting bad guys, and trying to decide what’s right on the fly without adult supervision and with the advice of sentient mechanical beings and anthropomorphic animals. The elves aren’t making it easy to fight back, but so far Em and Navin have emerged victorious. Can’t wait for book 3!
Okay, “they” say you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover…but this book had this perplexed and slightly scared pink bunny on the cover next to two kids and an amulet. Color me intrigued. Thankfully, the book lived up the cool cover and then went beyond that coolness to deliver an engaging adventure with Emily, her little brother Navin, and their mom.
The book opens with a heartbreaking family tragedy and even though I’d just been introduced to Emily’s dad, losing him within the first 10 pages was horrible. This terrible event cause Emily’s mom to pack up her two kids and move to their great-grandfather’s house. It becomes clear quickly that this is not just any house. It’s too simple to say it’s haunted, but there are otherworldly inhabitants. While poking around, Emily stumbles upon an amulet. Which, we later find out, can talk and has a spirit and mind (and agenda, it would seem) of its own.
Soon, Exciting (and Scary) Things Happen, and Emily’s mom gets taken by a large deranged octopus looking creature and Emily and Navin go after her to save her. In the process, they meet Miskit (the bunny from the cover!) and the rest of their great-grandfather’s mechanical coterie, who help Em and Navin get their mom back. Along the way, they learn they’re in a different world, with different rules, and a whole political structure that’s currently in a state of unrest. Most of this book is laying the groundwork for this world and Kazu Kibiuchi does it beautifully.